History of Craftsman Tractors | 1946 – 2013

The history of Sears – Craftsman Tractors in Pictures:

Since it is rumored that Craftsman has redesigned all of their tractors for 2014, now is a good time to do a recap of the line. I’ll give you a little history and then show you pictures from the first tractor sold in 1946 to latest 2013 models. I’m not going to go into the complete history. That would take a book and the pictures are much more interesting.


The majority of the tractors with the Sears/Craftsman name have been made by one company. The company itself has gone through many owners and is currently part of Husqvarna. The production facility is located in Orangeburg, SC.  Companies now owned by Briggs & Stratton, John Deere, Agri-Fab and MTD also produced some models and attachments for Sears. In 2013 Rider and LT series were made for Craftsman by MTD and the YT and GT series were made by Husqvarna.

The basic design of the Sears garden tractors can be traced back to the original David Bradley tractors. In 1910 Sears bought David Bradley Manufacturing Company, in Kankakee, Illinois and started producing David Bradley garden tractors in 1946. In 1959 Sears started selling a 4 wheel garden tractor called the David Bradley Suburban. In 1964 the David Bradley name was dropped Sears brand name was added to the Suburban tractors. In 1966 Roper Corporation acquired the David Bradley plant. Electrolux acquired Roper sometime around 1978 and the manufacturing was moved to Orangeburg, SC. In 1988 Electrolux was then bought by Husqvarna and the L&G division’s name was changed to American Yard Products (AYP). In 2006 Husqvarna is spun off from Electrolux.  The name was changed to Husqvarna Group.  The tractors are still made in the U.S. at the Orangeburg plant.

Click on the Picture to see a larger view.

1946 to 1949

1946 to 1949

1951 to 1953 

1950 to 1953



1959 – 1960 The Hood Came Off

1959 - 1960

1964 – 1967 Craftsman Engine

1964 - 1967 1964 Custom_600 1964 play-trak 1965Semicommercial


The Suburban tractor was introduced in 1959 as a David Bradley and evolved over the next six years into iconic Sears Suburban tractor. The Suburban was the  heavy duty workhorse of the Sears lineup until 1979. The Suburban had one of the widest arrays of implements of all the garden tractors. The Suburban was available over the years with engines of horse power ratings from 10 to 18.

1959 Suburban_ 1959-david-bradley

1964 1976

The Custom tractor made it appearance in 1964 and was available through 1973. Customs were not available in 1974 or 1975 but were available in 1976; the last year for the Custom series. They were the little brothers of the Suburban tractors. Some of the early entry level Customs had the designation of Compact. The engines for the Custom series ranged from 6 HP to 10 HP. Some were manual start while others were electric. The 1973 and 1976 versions sported the ST designation and the Aztec Gold and White paint like their big brother Suburbans. The Custom tractors could handle the same 3 point hitch and ground engaging rear implements as the bigger Suburban. Front attachments were limited to the dozer blade and snow blower. The Custom front axle was flat and lighter duty than that of the Suburban. They could not handle the front end loader, sickle bar mower or the other attachments that required the Suburban mule drive mounting such as the chipper/shreader or the generator.

1969 sears hyro-trac 12 1969 sears suburban 12

Anniversary Tractor 

On September 16, 1974 at 11:30 am, the 500,000th tractor rolled off the assembly line at the Roper Outdoor Products plant. Roper began producing garden tractors in 1958. In April, 1969, the 250,00th tractor rolled out of the plant. Just five years later, the
count was up to one half million.

1974 anniverserytractor





1974 craftsman tractor 1975 Sears Craftsman 1 1975 Sears Craftsman 2 1975 Sears Craftsman 3 1975 Sears Craftsman 4 1977 craftsman tractor catalog 1977 Sears_Attachments 1978_18hp_hydro







1980 Full Featured 1982 FF 1982 1983 1985 1986 searscanada 1987 Craftsman-Lawn-Tractor


1990s 1993 Sears Craftsman 1996 1 1996 2 1996 3 1996 1997_craftsman 1998 1999


2000 2002 1 2002 2003 2004 1 2004 craftsman 2004 Craftsmanpg8 2004 Craftsmanpg14 2004 Craftsmanpg15 2004 Craftsmanpg16 2004 2004Craftsman 2005 1 2005 2 2005 2006 1 2006 2007 1 2007 2008 1 2008 2 2008 2009 1 2009 2 2009





2011 1

2011 GTs

2011 lt


2012 1

2012 3



2011 lt


2012 1

Craftsman 29000

Craftsman LT2500

Never Sold

4 wheel steer

I would like to thank the following sites for providing most of the pictures in this article;



  1. george iliffe
    • Paul
  2. Robert Schultz
  3. Lamar Zim
    • Paul

Leave a Reply

Get more stuff like this from

Subscribe to our mailing list and get interesting stuff and updates to your email inbox.

Thank you for subscribing.

Something went wrong.